You may remember that Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is on my summer reading list. I finished it in two days, and it was a fun summer read! The story is centered around a girl named Cath who just started college, and is thrown into that chaotic life adventure. Fortunately, Cath is not alone in because she has…her twin sister? Nope, that girl abandoned her. Cath has something even better…her fandom. She is a beloved fan fic writer in a fandom similar to Harry Potter. In this book, being a fangirl actually does save Cath from the typical college freshman disasters. So, I really enjoyed reading the book but also taking the opportunity to think about what it’s like to be an adult fangirl and why it’s actually a good thing.
Fangirl is a word often used to describe girls in the 10-15 year old range. Society expects us to become adults and leave this phase of our lives behind us. Apparently, it is not acceptable to be an adult fangirl? The world would prefer that we leave this childish thing behind so that we can be serious people. We need to find other sources of fun. Like drinking a bottle of wine every night to pretend life is fun?
There is a another segment of the population in which fangirling is acceptable at any age. These people can talk about their favorite groups, collect shirts with their bias’ name on them, purchase fan gear, spend thousands of dollars on tickets, and participate in online fan groups. These people are known as men who are sports fans. Think about it for a second. Aren’t these boys really just fangirling about a sports team? For some reason, nobody questions this behavior at all! So, why should we give up our fandom when we reach age 18?
I’ve been perfecting the art of the fangirl for a long time. I am a queen. So, I’m going to share with you why being an adult fangirl is not weird and is actually pretty wonderful. I think it’s the best time to be a fangirl.
Your favorite group or artist comes out with a new album, book, or other piece of merch. You don’t have a job and have to beg your parents for money. Also, you have to beg them to order it for you or take you to buy it because you don’t have transportation or a credit card. When you are an adult fangirl, you have a job and can thus spend your money however you want. Sure, you may be eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and foregoing a social life to have all the fan gear, but who really cares? You know what’s important in life. Your fandom. Plus, peanut butter and jelly tastes great.
I grew up within an hour of NYC, so we never had an issue with shows or events coming to the area. Now, however, I live in a place where the best case scenario is an event I want to see will be within a two hour drive. More often, it’s going to mean a 6 hour drive to a much bigger city. In the case of BTS, that was a 12 hour drive to Chicago. Imagine trying to convince your parents not only to take you to a concert and buy the tickets but to drive you to a city 6-12 hours away for this concert or other event. It’s probably not going to happen, right? This is no longer a problem when you are an adult fangirl because you don’t need your parents’ permission to travel anywhere. Do what you want.
While we’re talking about tickets for concerts and other events, let’s talk about the price of those. They are not cheap. Plus, as hardcore fangirls, we know that the ticket is great but there are VIP experience tickets and floor seats, and all of those other features that we really want to go with those tickets. How do you begin to approach the cost-benefit analysis with your parents for all of that when they think the ticket and concert itself is ridiculous? If I want to buy the good seats and the special VIP soundcheck experience and can actually manage to secure those tickets, I can get them. My only cost-benefit analysis is with my own wallet. Plus, I seriously love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
When are are a younger fangirl, you fantasize about meeting the people you admire. You hope that you’ll get to be their friends, and if you are lucky, be the girlfriend of your fan crush. Unfortunately, the probability of that is extraordinarily low not only because of the fan-star situation. When you are like 12 and the person you fangirl over is like 22-28, you just don’t have anything in common with them outside of the fan experience. As an adult fangirl, at least you enter on the same level. Plus, you’re legal.